Having available cap space is important to filling needs in NFL free agency. There are several teams that have at least $60 million in cap space and could make some moves on the market this offseason. Here are some of the moves the teams with money to spend could make.
The Colts have more than $105 million in space, according to Spotrac. They usually don’t spend a lot of money, so Colts GM Ryan Grigson is likely going to spend wisely, going with the quality of signings rather than quantity. Pass rushers and receivers should be their focus, with potential targets including DE Trey Flowers, who is in his prime at 25 years old and coming off a season in which he had a career-best 7.5 sacks. On the offensive side, QB Andrew Luck could use a No. 2 receiver behind T.Y. Hilton, so look for the likes of Golden Tate and Cole Beasley to be on the Colts’ radar.
New York Jets
The Jets have nearly $100 million in cap space, and they were closely linked to RB Le’Veon Bell during the offseason. Bell was one of the most high-profile free agents out there, and the Jets made a splash by signing him to a four-year deal.
Bell should fill a big hole on an offense that ranked 26th in rushing yards last season. He will certainly be a boost to the run game, but the Jets should also look to increase protection for young QB Sam Darnold and give him some more receiving options; the team only had 18 receiving touchdowns in 2018, which was just five more than the league-worst Bills.
The Texans have already committed a chunk of their $83 million of cap space by franchise-tagging Jadeveon Clowney. They also have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, so getting help there should be a priority in free agency. They have their QB of the future in Deshaun Watson, but they now Houston needs to protect him. Watson was sacked 62 times last
The Bills have more than $77 million to spend and need to make upgrades on the offense, so they should be very active in free agency. As we mentioned, the Bills threw the fewest touchdowns in the league last season, with just 13. Part of that is because of poor quarterback play before the Bills handed the reins to rookie QB Josh Allen, but it’s also because of a lack of options in the receiving corps; their top pass-catcher was WR Zay Jones, who only had 56 catches. Look for the Bills to go after the likes of Tyrell Williams or Golden Tate.
Buffalo also needs a solid No. 1 running back because Allen was the team’s top rusher last season.
Like the Bills, the Browns have around $77 in space to spend in free agency. Unlike the Bills, the Browns had a decent offense last season. They appear to be set at quarterback and running back with Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb, respectively.
One area where they could improve is at receiver. WR Jarvis Landry is an acceptable No. 2, but their depth at the position thins out pretty quickly after him. It wasn’t a free agency move, but Cleveland landed one of the best wideouts in the game when it traded for Odell Beckham.
The Raiders already made a significant move when they traded two draft picks — in the third and fifth rounds — to the Steelers for WR Antonio Brown. They also gave him a new three-year deal, potentially worth more than $50 million with $30.125 million guaranteed. That deal happened outside free agency and eats into part of the $70 million or so that the Raiders had available to spend. However, they still have enough to go after some free agents as head coach Jon Gruden continues to put his imprint on the Raiders’ roster as he enters his second season leading the team.